The Meiji Restoration was an extraordinary era in Japanese history, when the country shook off its feudal past to embrace an uncertain future. YAE NO SAKURA dramatizes the story of Nijima Yae, a tomboy who grows into a beautiful young woman - and becomes something of an expert in gunnery in the process. At the same time, her home clan - the Aizu - is asked to protect the Shogun and his court from rebels from Choshu.
YAE NO SAKURA won an international Emmy award in 2014 for best drama series, and it's easy to tell why. Production values and special effects are frequently outstanding, and the story itself has a dramatic intensity that recalls the U.S. Civil war; both wars occurred in the same decade.
The Jidaeki series stars the affable and beautiful Haruka Ayase in the leading role. She's a good choice. This year-long series offers insight into a time in Japanese history that was embroiled in controversy; after several hundred years of relative peace under the ruling Toyotomi clan, a change in power left much of the country in a political limbo.
YAE NO SAKURA is a real treat.
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